12 of the Most Common Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing

12 of the Most Common Misconceptions About Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is an ever-growing way to promote your business and interact with audiences you might not have reached otherwise. But, for as much as it’s discussed by marketers online, there are still quite a few misconceptions we’d like to clear up.

1. You need to be active on all social platforms, all the time.

When considering where to start with social media marketing, there are specific facts and numbers you should take into account when deciding which platforms to be active on. Consider your buyer personas and your audience in general. What platforms do they spend most of their time on and are they most likely to use to search for information? That’s where your brand needs to have an engaging presence.

Your time and money are important resources that you should not waste promoting your brand on social media platforms that don’t reach your audience. Of course you can promote yourself on more platforms over time and as the need arises, but it’s always better to post consistently on a few channels where your audience is most active than attempting to manage five or six business profiles and leaving them essentially inactive.

2. Social media marketing is only for younger audiences.

Do not make the mistake of thinking the only audience you’re reaching on social media is young adults and teens. People of all ages use social media. Apart from gathered statistics, I can personally tell you I have at least three family members over the age of 70 who use multiple social media platforms multiple times a day!

Huffington Post wrote an informational piece on older generations and social media, and said, “Seniors emphasize the informational and educational aspects of the Internet using it in an encyclopedic fashion.” Here at Synectics Media, when developing buyer personas, we often find that older personas tend to use social media to find social proof or statistics proving the quality and functionality of a product or service.

3. Social media marketing won’t work for your industry.

There are many different groups and communities online sharing content from every kind of industry there is. If you have competitors or businesses who provide similar products and services as you do, then you belong on social media.

Social media marketing gives your business a chance to become a thought leader in your industry, providing informational and educational content and commentary on industry-related news. Offering this kind of quality content on a consistent basis is a great opportunity to grab the interest of possible leads and nurture them through the sales process.

4. All platforms are the same.

Really, each social media platform is different. Audiences don’t typically want the same kind of content on Snapchat and Instagram that they look for on LinkedIn and Facebook, so you shouldn’t expect to successfully share all of the same content across all platforms.

Of course, when you publish something new, be it a blog, infographic, or other content, you’re going to want to share it across many platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. What you don’t want to do is share the exact same message, at the exact same time across all of those channels. Tailor it for each platform. HubSpot offers some great tips on how to optimize your posts on different social channels.

5. The more hashtags, the better.

Hashtags are very helpful when it comes to your content being discovered by the right audience on Twitter or Instagram, but too many can be a bad thing. Tweets with one to two hashtags see 21% higher engagement than those with three or more. Plus, having that many hashtags takes up more of your precious 140 character count. Don’t waste it!

6. Social media marketing is 100% free.

While it is true that creating a social media profile is free, the time and resources you dedicate to managing and creating quality content for your social channels will definitely cost you.

Of course you can post on your channels as much as you want, but with the lack of organic reach platforms are seeing lately, it’s hard to ignore the many paid advertising options available through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram YouTube, and more. If you’ve been thinking about advertising on Facebook, here are some tips for how to make the most effective Facebook ads for your business. It’s a fact - in today’s marketing climate, to really have a successful social media marketing strategy, you have to invest.

7. Negative comments are too risky.

There is always a chance someone could post negative things about your business or the content that you share on the internet. It’s one of the risks we take when sharing our opinions and knowledge on the internet these days, but this shouldn't be a reason to avoid using social media marketing and all of its benefits.

Receiving feedback from customers gives your business the opportunity to improve, and also shows you have the capabilities to address a concern or problem, and de-escalate or resolve it swiftly. There are many productive ways to respond to angry comments in social media, and we’ve got a few tips on how to handle those situations.

8. You just need to post as much as possible.

You do not have to, nor should you be posting on social media constantly in order to run a successful campaign. You should never overwhelm your audience with too much content. It’s very important to understand the difference between providing educational, insightful content to your readers and just bombarding them with as much relevant content as you can find. HubSpot offers a great guide to posting frequency here.  

Your audience is looking for the perfect amount of informative, valuable content, not a plethora of just-ok content you posted in order to keep your channels active. Irrelevant content posted frequently will fall short time and time again. Create and share content people will find value in.

9. Social media marketing is marketing Kool-Aid.

As you’ve probably learned from the other misconceptions we’ve covered, social media marketing isn’t just a pile of bologna. If you are still thinking you don’t want to “drink the Kool-Aid” and start using social media in your marketing strategy, you are mistaken. We promise, the benefits of improved customer interactions and conversions are pretty great.

10. Social media is only used to attract new customers.

While it’s true the main reason people choose to market their business on social media is to gain more awareness and customers, but it can also be a great resource for recruiting new talent for your business. Posting jobs on LinkedIn and even sharing humanizing, quality video content can help job seekers see what your company's culture is like.

11. You always need to be promoting.

Of course promoting your business and trying to gain new audience members and customers is important, don’t forget that audience members already following you want to see intriguing content as well. Don’t make the mistake of primarily promoting all of the different products and services you offer and drowning out the other kinds of content you should be sharing.

Here at Synectics Media, we follow the 80/20 rule. This means that in a given month, 20% of the content you share should serve to promote your brand, but the other 80% should be content that is interesting, engaging, insightful, and valuable for your audience.

This all goes hand in hand with the idea that your content always needs to be presented in a professional manner, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stodgy. Social media is a great way to show off the voice and personality of your brand. Demonstrate what makes you, you!

12. You don’t have enough content to share.

Finally, there is never a lack of content to be shared. Your industry fits into the social media world no matter what it is, and there are plenty of creative ways to create and share content, no matter your audience.

Do you have any other social media marketing myths you want to bust? Let us know in the comments! We love to hear from you!

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Posted by Emily Salswedel

Emily Salswedel

Social Media Producer - Emily uses her background in journalism and love of pop-culture to create informed, relatable content. As a social media enthusiast (even her SIMS Character is a Social Media Writer), she aims to find a relevant hashtag for every situation, and find a use for instagram in every campaign. She’ll be your best friend for a bag of flaming hot cheetos. #NoShame.